AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Name Occurs Before Title Offscreen Credit Print Viewed By AFI
Title: Argo

Production Company: Smokehouse Pictures  
  GK Films  
Production Text:
Distribution Company: Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution (A TimeWarner Company)

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. 11 Dec 2012 PA1815987

Release Date: 2012
Premiere Information: Los Angeles and New York openings: 12 Oct 2012
Duration (in mins): 120
PCA NO: 46118
MPAA Rating: R
Country: United States
Language: Farsi and English

Physical Properties: Sd: Dolby® Digital in selected theatres; Datasat Digital Sound; SDDS Sony Dynamic Digital Sound
  col: Color by Deluxe
  Lenses: Hawk anamorphic lenses provided by Vantage Film

Producer: Grant Heslov (Prod)
  Ben Affleck (Prod)
  George Clooney (Prod)
  David Klawans (Exec prod)
  Nina Wolarsky (Exec prod)
  Chris Brigham (Exec prod)
  Chay Carter (Exec prod)
  Graham King (Exec prod)
  Tim Headington (Exec prod)
  Amy Herman (Co-prod)
  Alex Sutherland (Line prod, Turkey unit)
Director: Ben Affleck (Dir)
  Amy Herman (Unit prod mgr)
  David Webb (1st asst dir)
  Ian Calip (2d asst dir)
  Clark Credle (2d 2d asst dir)
  Gavin Kleintop (2d 2d asst dir)
  Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (2d unit dir)
  Sunday Stevens (1st asst dir, 2d unit)
  Mark Trapenberg (2d asst dir, 2d unit)
  Belkis Turan (1st asst dir, Turkey unit)
  Alison Rosa (2d unit key 2d asst dir)
Writer: Chris Terrio (Scr)
Photography: Rodrigo Prieto (Dir of photog)
  Colin Anderson ("B" cam/Steadicam op)
  Zoran Veselic ("A" cam 1st asst)
  Craig M. Bauer ("A" cam 2d asst)
  Nino Neuboeck ("B" cam 1st asst)
  Josh Friz ("B" cam 2d asst)
  Diana Ulzheimer (Cam loader)
  Randy Woodside (Chief lighting tech)
  Luis Moreno (Asst chief lighting tech)
  Russell Ayer (Asst chief lighting tech)
  Marc Marino (Rigging chief lighting tech)
  Tony Graham (Rigging asst lighting tech)
  Joseph Dianda (Key grip)
  Richard J. Boyle (Best boy grip)
  Charles Crivier ("A" dolly grip)
  Jose A. Santiago ("B" dolly grip)
  Chris Leidholdt (Key rigging grip)
  Justin Babin (Best boy rigging grip)
  Matt Floyd (Best boy rigging grip)
  Steve Irwin (Video playback supv)
  Claire Folger (Still photog)
  Robby Baumgartner (Dir of photog, 2d unit)
  David B. Nowell (Aerial dir of photog, 2d unit)
  Steven Cueva ("A" cam 1st asst, 2d unit)
  Jozo Zovko ("A" cam 2d asst, 2d unit)
  Simon Jayes ("B" cam op, 2d unit)
  Bradley V. Richard ("B" cam 1st asst, 2d unit)
  Chloe Weaver (Cam loader, 2d unit)
  Orlando Hernandez (Chief lighting tech, 2d unit)
  Alex Sinclair (Asst chief lighting tech, 2d unit)
  Darwin Browne (Key grip, 2d unit)
  Sam Liotta (Best boy grip, 2d unit)
  Charles Simons (Dolly grip, 2d unit)
  Andrew Sych (Spacecam tech, 2d unit)
  David J. Butkovich (Edge crane op, 2d unit)
  James Danicic (Edge head tech, 2d unit)
  Shan Siddiqi (Remote focus tech, 2d unit)
  Olly Tellett ("B" cam 1st asst, Turkey unit)
  Dora Krolikowska ("B" cam 2d asst, Turkey unit)
  Gilbert Berto Lecuyse ("C" cam op, Turkey unit)
  Olivier Fortin ("C" cam 1st asst, Turkey unit)
  Lionel Pedro ("C" cam 2d asst, Turkey unit)
  Peter Marsden (Digital imaging tech, Turkey unit)
  Keith Bernstein (Still photog, Turkey unit)
  Robert Mancuso ("B" cam 1st asst, Washington, DC unit)
  Scott Tinsley ("B" cam 2d asst, Washington, DC unit)
  Michael Panczenko, Jr. (Cam loader, Washington, DC unit)
  Thomas Gilmour (Digital imaging tech, Washington, DC unit)
  Robert Waybright (Chief lighting tech, Washington, DC unit)
  Dave Mikutsky (Asst chief lighting tech, Washington, DC unit)
  Wesley Sullivan (Key rigging lighting tech, Washington, DC unit)
  Brian T. Leach (Key grip, Washington, DC unit)
  David Noble ("A" dolly grip, Washington, DC unit)
  Carl Hamilton ("B" dolly grip, Washington, DC unit)
  Michael Yoder (Key rigging grip, Washington, DC unit)
  Patrick Capone (2d unit dir of photog, Washington, DC unit)
  Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment Inc. (Cam cranes & dollies)
  Clairmont (Cam systems)
Art Direction: Sharon Seymour (Prod des)
  Peter Borck (Art dir)
  Gary Warshaw (Asst art dir)
  Alex Hillkurtz (Illustrator)
  Michael Maher (Graphic des)
  Brett McKenzie (Art dept coord)
  Andrea Rennard (Art dept asst)
  Nicole Balzarini (Art dept asst)
  Sophia Male (Art dept asst)
  Deniz Göktürk Kobanbay (Art dir, Turkey unit)
  Güliz Kaymaksüt (Asst art dir, Turkey unit)
  Dìcle Şarman (2d asst art dir, Turkey unit)
Film Editor: William Goldenberg (Ed)
  Brett M. Reed (Addl ed)
  Joe Galdo (1st asst ed)
  Maria Paula Galdo (Apprentice ed)
Set Decoration: Jan Pascale (Set dec)
  Mike Sexton (Prop master)
  Kevin Shaw (Asst prop master)
  Daniel Jennings (Set des)
  Barbara Mesney (Set des)
  Louise del Araujo (Leadman)
  Cynthia C. Rebman (On-set dresser)
  David Smith (Addl set dec)
  Heidi Baumgarten (Set dec buyer)
  Bryan Gettman (Set dec gang boss)
  F. Alan Burg (Set dresser)
  Connie Gackenbach (Set dresser)
  Deborah Harman (Set dresser)
  Gordon McVay (Set dresser)
  David Craig (Set dresser)
  Timothy D. Ackers (Stand-by painter)
  John Samson (Const coord)
  Jeffrey McMahon (Const foreman)
  Bryan A. McBrien (Greens foreman)
  Richard LePore (Stand-by greens)
  Alejandro Aguilar (Labor foreman)
  Neil Gahm (Propmaker foreman)
  Guy Hoffner (Propmaker foreman)
  David B. Long (Propmaker foreman)
  R. Lucas Stewart (Propmaker foreman)
  Ken Murphy (Propmaker)
  Tony DiDio (Armorer, 2d unit)
  Tunç Ergüden (Const mgr, Turkey unit)
Costumes: Jacqueline West (Cost des)
  J. R. Hawbaker (Asst cost des)
  Pamela Wise (Cost supv)
  Alison Gail Bixby (Key cost)
  Tom MacDonald (Key cost)
  Monica Haynes-Nino (Key cost)
  Sanford Slepak (Key cost)
  Brad Holtzman (Cost)
  Maria Bradley (Cost)
  Sean Haley (Cost)
  Naomi Gathmann (Cost)
  Melissa F. Binder (Ager/Dyer)
  Ann L. Thomas (Tailor)
  Jeeda Barford-Guven (Cost supv, Turkey unit)
  Hilal Sezer (Asst cost des, Turkey unit)
Music: Alexandre Desplat (Mus comp and cond/Orch)
  Conrad Pope (Orch)
  Jean-Pascal Beintus (Orch)
  Clifford J. Tasner (Orch)
  Bill Newlin (Orch)
  Nan Schwartz (Orch)
  Dennis Sands (Score rec/Score mixed)
  Joel Iwataki (Score rec)
  Richard Ford (Mus ed)
  David Metzner (Addl mus ed)
  TJ Lindgren (Programming)
  Dan Marocco (Programming)
  Lewis Morison (Programming)
  Romain Allender (Programming)
  Adam Olmsted (ProTools op)
  Sussan Deyhim (Vocals)
  Kudsi Erguner (Ney)
  Derya Turkan (Kemenche)
  Bijan Chemirani (Ethnic percussion)
  Greg Ellis (Ethnic percussion)
  Dimitris Mahlis (Oud)
  Linda Cohen (Mus supv)
Sound: Jose Antonio Garcia (Sd mixer)
  Jonathan Lee-Ger Fuh (Boom op)
  Eric A. Bautista (Sd utility)
  Bradford Ralston (Video asst op)
  Erik Aadahl (Supv sd ed/Sd des)
  Ethan Van der Ryn (Sd des)
  John Reitz (Re-rec mixer)
  Gregg Rudloff (Re-rec mixer)
  Unsun Song (Mix tech)
  P. K. Hooker (Sd eff ed)
  Greg Ten Bosh (Sd eff ed)
  Jonathan Klein (Foley ed)
  David Bach (Supv ADR & Dial ed)
  David V. Butler (Dial ed)
  Greg Steele (ADR mixer)
  Thomas J. O'Connell (ADR mixer)
  Michael Miller (ADR mixer)
  Dan O'Connell (Foley artist)
  John Cucci (Foley artist)
  James Ashwill (Foley mixer)
  Richard Duarte (Foley mixer)
  John Guentner (Foley mixer)
  Joel Erickson (Asst sd ed)
  Douglas Axtell (Sd mixer, 2d unit)
  Greg Cosh (Boom op, 2d unit)
  Anthony Kit DiSanto (Video asst op, 2d unit)
Special Effects: R. Bruce Steinheimer (Spec eff supv)
  Garth Steinheimer (Spec eff foreman)
  Barry L. McQueary (Spec eff)
  Kyle Cooper (Main and end titles des)
  Method Studios (Visual eff)
  Thomas J. Smith (Visual eff, Method Studios)
  Matt Dessero (Visual eff, Method Studios)
  Michele C. Vallillo (Visual eff, Method Studios)
  Michael Sean Foley (Visual eff, Method Studios)
  Alex Gitler (Visual eff, Method Studios)
  Raechel Rowland (Visual eff, Method Studios)
  Sandro Blattner (Visual eff, Method Studios)
  Bernard Ceguerra (Visual eff, Method Studios)
  Jon Chesson (Visual eff, Method Studios)
  Brian Delmonico (Visual eff, Method Studios)
  Goeffrey Hancock (Visual eff, Method Studios)
  Michael Harbour (Visual eff, Method Studios)
  Jeremy Lei (Visual eff, Method Studios)
  Justin Lloyd (Visual eff, Method Studios)
  Rachel McPherson (Visual eff, Method Studios)
  Kama Moiha (Visual eff, Method Studios)
  Eric Pender (Visual eff, Method Studios)
  Chris Perkowitz (Visual eff, Method Studios)
  Alfredo Ramirez (Visual eff, Method Studios)
  James Rogers (Visual eff, Method Studios)
  Rasha Shalaby (Visual eff, Method Studios)
  Aaron Vest (Visual eff, Method Studios)
  Jason Wardle (Visual eff, Method Studios)
  Wei Zheng (Visual eff, Method Studios)
  Greg McMurry (Addl visual eff supv)
  Jeremy Burns (Compositing supv)
  Craig Crawford (Compositor)
Make Up: Kate Biscoe (Make-up dept head)
  Gigi Williams (Asst make-up dept head)
  Barbara Augustus-Johnson (Key make-up artist)
  Jamie Kelman (Prosthetic make-up artist and des)
  Kelvin R. Trahan (Hair dept head)
  Catherine A. Marcotte (Asst hair dept head)
  Trish Almeida (Key hair stylist)
  Ebru Kiziltan (Make-up artist, Turkey unit)
Production Misc: Lora Kennedy (Casting)
  Sheila G. Waldron (Scr supv)
  Tina Anderson (Post prod supv)
  Parker Laramie (Post prod asst)
  Tom Carson (Prod office coord)
  Jordan Gilbert (Asst prod office coord)
  Roxann Langlois (Travel coord)
  Jason Habelow (Prod secy)
  Mary Sunshine (Prod accountant)
  Alexa Song Lindenthaler (Asst accountant)
  Steve Goldstein (Asst accountant)
  Jennifer K. Jacobs (Asst accountant)
  Rita Colimon (Asst accountant)
  Phillip Besa (Asst accountant)
  Ashley Berlanga (Asst accountant)
  Chris Baugh (Loc mgr)
  Michael J. Soleau (Key asst loc mgr)
  Ryan Neary (Key asst loc mgr)
  Justin Duncan (Key asst loc mgr)
  Michael Betz (Key asst loc mgr)
  Justin Harrold (Key asst loc mgr)
  Joel Marrow (Transportation coord)
  Richard Chouinard (Transportation capt)
  Ted Moser (Picture car coord)
  Odessa Whitmire (Picture car asst)
  Cliff Fleming (Helicopter pilot)
  Max Daly (Researcher)
  Deborah Ricketts (Stock footage researcher)
  Spencer Beighley (Asst to Ben Affleck)
  Tara Oslin (Asst to Grant Heslov)
  Leah Williams (Asst to Graham King)
  Kevin Reeves (Asst to Nina Wolarsky)
  Marvin Sanders (Principal transportation)
  Walter Norton, Jr. (Health & fitness)
  Amanda J. Brand (Unit pub)
  Arlene Kiyabu (Casting assoc)
  Pamella Pearl (Casting assoc)
  Alessi/Berona Casting (Extras casting)
  Morgue N. Marcus (Extras casting assoc)
  Luke Brigham (Set staff asst)
  Danika Brysha (Set staff asst)
  Aaron Fairley (Set staff asst)
  Carey Field (Set staff asst)
  Holly Field (Set staff asst)
  Ashley Gressen (Set staff asst)
  Brian E. James (Set staff asst)
  Sahm McGlynn (Set staff asst)
  Andrew Stahl (Set staff asst)
  Kevin Zelman (Set staff asst)
  Eddie Quintana (Staff asst)
  Marissa Rosado (Staff asst)
  Madison Steigerwald (Staff asst)
  Jack Story (Staff asst)
  Stratton Ingram Taylor (Staff asst)
  Antonio J. Mendez (Consultant)
  Joshuah Bearman (Consultant)
  Antonio Evans (Medic)
  Nick Tolmasov (Medic)
  CJ Laursen (Environmental steward)
  Tony's Food Service (Caterer)
  Richard Cody (Craft services)
  Casey J. Pond (Craft services)
  Wilma Garscadden-Gahret (Scr supv, 2d unit)
  Richard Chouinard (Transportation capt, 2d unit)
  Bruce Benson (Aerial ground coord, 2d unit)
  AZ Celtic Films (Prod services provided by, Turkey unit)
  Zeynep Santiroğlu (Prod mgr, Turkey unit)
  Katherine Tibbetts (Prod supv, Turkey unit)
  Emine Soydanyavas (Prod office coord, Turkey unit)
  Fiona Baldwin (Asst prod office coord, Turkey unit)
  Pinar Işbìlen (Prod accountant, Turkey unit)
  Serdar Atik (Prod accountant, Turkey unit)
  Saygin Saral (Loc mgr, Turkey unit)
  Bilge Sabri Işil (Transportation coord, Turkey unit)
  Olgu Baran Kubilay (Asst to the prods, Turkey unit)
  Şafak Binay (Casting, Turkey unit)
  Çaġdaş Agun (Security, Turkey unit)
  Sean Fogel (Prod supv, Washington, DC unit)
  Richard P. Keeshan (Prod office coord, Washington, DC unit)
  May Tam (Asst prod office coord, Washington, DC unit)
  Peggy Pridemore (Loc mgr, Washington, DC unit)
  Carlyn Davis Casting (Extras casting, Washington, DC unit)
Stand In: JJ Perry (Stunt coord)
  Awat A. Ahmed (Stunts)
  Daniel Arrias (Stunts)
  Zafer Aydin (Stunts)
  Ergun Ayer (Stunts)
  Koby Azarly (Stunts)
  Ahmet Ali Basoglu (Stunts)
  Chino Binamo (Stunts)
  Ben Bray (Stunts)
  Refik Buldi (Stunts)
  Anis Cheurfa (Stunts)
  Max Daniels (Stunts)
  Eyad Elbitar (Stunts)
  Mohamed Ibrahim Elkest (Stunts)
  Eddie Fernandez (Stunts)
  Serkan Gunçikis (Stunts)
  Thayr Harris (Stunts)
  Michael Hilow (Stunts)
  Turgay Ince (Stunts)
  Engin Karabacak (Stunts)
  Henry Kingi, Jr. (Stunts)
  Matt McColm (Stunts)
  Roman Mitichyan (Stunts)
  Norman Mora (Stunts)
  Anthony Nanakornpanom (Stunts)
  Marque Ohmes (Stunts)
  Fareburz Poole (Stunts)
  Crystal Santos (Stunts)
  Sener Sirbudak (Stunts)
  Mehmet Tatar (Stunts)
  Ayhan Tongadur (Stunts)
  Sedat Toprak (Stunts)
  Mehmet Turan (Stunts)
  Hamdi Yolcu (Stunts)
  Omid Zader (Stunts)
  Mark Franklin Henson (Stunt coord, Turkey unit)
Color Personnel: Yvan Lucas (Digital intermediate col)
  Tom Reiser (Digital intermediate col)
  Loan Phan (Digital intermediate prod)
  Devon Miller (Digital intermediate ed)
  Ben Estrada (Cinemascan col)
  EFILM (Digital intermediate by)

Music Text: "'Upside Down' from In the Valley of Elah ," written by Mark Isham, courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc./Summit Entertainment, LLC; "'March to the Dead City' from Battle for the Planet of the Apes ," written by Leonard Rosenman, courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; "'Do You Miss London' from Spy Game ," written by Harry Gregson Williams, courtesy of Beacon Pictures.
Song Text: "Charlie's Tune," written by Joseph Liebman, performed by Bobby Short, courtesy of Revlon, Inc.; "Hip-Hug-Her," written by Steve Cropper, Donald Dunn, Al Jackson, Jr. and Booker T. Jones, performed by Booker T. & The MG's, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp./Rhino Entertainment Company, by arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing; "Little T&A," written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, performed by The Rolling Stones, courtesy of Promotone B.V.; "Dance the Night Away," written by Edward Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, Michael Anthony and David Lee Roth, performed by Van Halen, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc., by arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing; "Sultans of Swing," written by Mark Knopfler, performed by Dire Straits, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc., by arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing; "Adhan - Call to Prayer," traditional, arranged and performed by Shaam, courtesy of Meem Ltd.; "Concrete Jungle," written by Rod Byers, performed by The Specials, courtesy of EMI Records Ltd., under license from EMI Film & Television Music; "When the Levee Breaks," written by Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham, performed by Led Zeppelin, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp., by arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing; "Abwoon Call to Prayer," written and performed by Jahanara Laura Mangus; "Stalking Stars," written and performed by Andrew Lockington; "Al Adhan," traditional, arranged by Pat Jabbar, performed by Youssef El Mejjad, courtesy Barraka Productions; "Hace Tuto Guagua," traditional, arranged by Taato Gomez, performed by Familion, courtesy of Epic Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing.
Source Text: Based on the book The Master of Disguise: My Secret Life in the CIA by Antonio J. Mendez and Malcolm McConnell (New York, 1999) and the magazine article "The Great Escape" by Joshuah Bearman ( Wired , 2007).
Source Authors: Antonio J. Mendez
  Malcolm McConnell
  Joshuah Bearman
Music Composer: Michael Anthony
  John Bonham
  Rod Byers
  Steve Cropper
  Donald Dunn
  Taato Gomez
  Mark Isham
  Pat Jabbar
  Al Jackson, Jr.
  Mick Jagger
  Booker T. Jones
  John Paul Jones
  Mark Knopfler
  Joseph Liebman
  Andrew Lockington
  Jahanara Laura Mangus
  Jimmy Page
  Robert Plant
  Keith Richards
  Leonard Rosenman
  David Lee Roth
  Shaam
  Alex Van Halen
  Edward Van Halen
  Harry Gregson Williams

Cast:   Ben Affleck (Tony Mendez)  
    Bryan Cranston (Jack O'Donnell)  
    Alan Arkin (Lester Siegel)  
    John Goodman {Actor} (John Chambers)  
    Victor Garber (Ken Taylor)  
    Tate Donovan (Bob Anders)  
    Clea DuVall (Cora Lijek)  
    Scoot McNairy (Joe Stafford)  
    Rory Cochrane ([Henry] Lee Schatz)  
    Christopher Denham (Mark Lijek)  
    Kerry Bishé (Kathy Stafford)  
    Kyle Chandler (Hamilton Jordan)  
    Chris Messina (Malinov)  
    Željko Ivanek (Robert Pender)  
    Titus Welliver (Bates)  
    Keith Szarabajka (Adam Engell)  
    Bob Gunton (Cyrus Vance)  
    Richard Kind (Max Klein)  
    Richard Dillane (OSS Officer Nicholls)  
    Omid Abtahi (Reza Borhani)  
    Page Leong (Pat Taylor)  
    Farshad Farahat (Azizi checkpoint #3)  
    Sheila Vand (Sahar)  
    Karina Logue (Elizabeth Ann Swift)  
    Ryan Ahern (Sgt. Sickmann)  
    Bill Tangradi (Alan B. Golacinski)  
    Jamie McShane (William J. Daugherty)  
    Matthew Glave (Col. Charles W. Scott)  
    Roberto Garcia (Sgt. William Gallegos)  
    Christopher Stanley (Thomas L. Ahern, Jr.)  
    Jon Woodward Kirby (Fred Kupke)  
    Alborz Basiratmand (Student with poster)  
    Ruty Rutenberg (Marine #1)  
    Michael Woolston (Marine #2)  
    Sharareh Sedghi (Lady with radio)  
    Bobby Zegar (Tear gas student)  
    Victor McCay (Malick)  
    Matt Nolan (Peter Genco)  
    J. R. Cacia (Brice)  
    Bill Kalmenson (Hal Saunders)  
    Rob Brownstein (Landon Butler)  
    David Sullivan (Jon Titterton)  
    Jean Carol (Jordan's secretary)  
    Michael Cassidy (Jordan's analyst)  
    John Boyd (Lamont)  
    Yuriy Sardarov (Rossi)  
    Nikka Far (Tehran Mary)  
    Aidan Sussman (Ian Mendez)  
    Barry Livingston (David Marmor)  
    Ali Saam (Ali Khalkhali)  
    Araz Vahid Ebrahim Nia (Moradi)  
    Scott Anthony Leet (The Minotaur)  
    Ashley Wood (Space lab nurse)  
    Rob Tepper (Film director)  
    Ray Porter (First A.D.)  
    Stephen J. Lattanzi (Pa )  
    Danielle Barbosa (Lester's housekeeper)  
    Michael Parks (Jack Kirby)  
    Eric Scott Cooper (Publicist)  
    Adrienne Barbeau (Nina/Serksi the gallactic witch)  
    Tom Lenk (Variety reporter)  
    Nelson Franklin (LA Times reporter)  
    Kelly Curran (Princess Aleppa)  
    Mark Rhino Smith (Evil villain)  
    Scott Elrod (Achilles Crux)  
    Bill Blair (Humanoid robot)  
    Daston Kalili (Green jacket)  
    Joseph S. Griffo (Nestor the android)  
    Andrew Varenhorst (Blue monster)  
    Amitis Frances Ariano (Persian dancer)  
    Alison Fiori (Sci fi body suit girl)  
    Taies Farzan (Middle class Iranian woman)  
    Florans Atlantis (Middle class Iranian man)  
    Rafi Pitts (Iranian consulate official)  
    Allegra Carpenter (British Airways flight attendant)  
    Bobby Naderi (Airport husband)  
  Immigration officers: Ray Haratian    
    Mehrdad Sarlak    
    Soheil Tasbihchi    
  [and] Hovik Gharibian    
    Dorianne Pahlavan (Airport hysterical wife)  
    Hooshang Tooze (Deputy Minister of Islamic Guidance)  
    Peter-Henry Schroeder (Producer)  
    Ali Farkhonde (Tehran car rental man)  
    Sahm McGlynn (Bearded fundamentalist in bazaar)  
    Muhammed Cangoren (Bazaar shopkeeper)  
    Asghar Allah Veirdi Zadeh (Bazaar angry man)  
    Leyla Beysülen (Angry woman)  
    Lindsey Ginter (Hedley Donovan)  
    Tim Quill (Alan Sosa)  
    Larry Sullivan (Engell's secretary)  
    Danilo Di Julio (Sgt. Gauthier)  
    Fanshen Cox (White House operator)  
    Tehmina Sunny (Swissair ticketing agent)  
    Amir Kamyab (Passport official)  
    Baris Deli (Carpet factory Komiteh)  
  Revolutionary guards: Cas Anvar    
    Bahram Khosraviani    
    Sam Sheikholeslami    
    Saba Sarem    
  [and] Puya Abbassi    
    Reza Mir (Komiteh Reza)  
    Jozef Fahey (Lock up PA)  
    Annie Little (Swissair gate agent)  
    Fahim Fazli (Komiteh subordinate)  
    Brandon Tabassi (Young Komiteh at airport)  
    Hans Tester (Swissair pilot)  
    Alex Schemmer (Swissair co-pilot)  
    Yan Feldman (Air traffic controller)  
    Nancy Stelle (Swissair flight attendant)  
    Maz Siam (Iraqi border guard)  
    Ken Edling (Assistant Secretary of State)  
    Deborah Deimel Bean (State Department official)  
    Michael Chieffo (CIA archives officer)  
    Taylor Schilling (Christine Mendez)  
    Philip Baker Hall (Government official)  

Summary: As he suffers from cancer, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the former Shah of Iran, is granted political asylum in the United States following his controversial reign. On November 4, 1979, Iranian citizens protest Pahlavi's asylum by storming the United States Embassy in Tehran, Iran. Armed revolutionaries take the American embassy workers hostage, except for six who manage to escape: senior consular officer Bob Anders and fellow officers, Mark Lijek and Joe Stafford; office assistants Cora Lijek and Kathy Stafford; and cultural attaché, Lee Schatz. At the U.S. State Department in Washington, D. C., Robert Pender and his colleague, Bates, learn about the six escapees, who are now in hiding at the home of Canadian Ambassador to Iran, Ken Taylor. Meanwhile, Hamilton Jordan, President Jimmy Carter's Chief of Staff, instructs government officials to disregard the six escapees while they focus on the hostages inside the U.S. Embassy. Sixty-nine days later, over sixty American hostages are still being held in Tehran while the escapees remain at Ambassador Taylor's house. In Virginia, Tony Mendez, an agent for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and exfiltration expert, learns from his supervisor, Jack O'Donnell, that the Canadian government wants the American escapees out of Taylor's home immediately. Jack tells Tony that while the Iranian militants have not yet discovered that six Americans are missing, they are currently re-assembling shredded documents containing mug shots of the entire embassy staff. During a meeting with Jack and Tony, Pender says that roadblocks have been erected in Iran, so the escapees cannot leave by car; in turn, he suggests that someone deliver them bicycles and maps so that they can ride through the mountainside into Turkey. Tony rejects the idea, along with another suggestion that the escapees fly out of the country disguised as American teachers, reminding his colleagues that the international school in Iran was shut down eight months ago. That night, Mendez calls his son, Ian, who is watching a science fiction film, Battle for the Planet of the Apes, on television. The film inspires Tony, who later suggests the following rescue operation to the State Department: Tony will pretend to be "Kevin Harkins," a Canadian film producer, travel to Iran for a location scout, and travel back with the escapees, posing as his film crew. Although several people protest the idea as too flamboyant, Tony tells them that he can secure the help of John Chambers, a prosthetics designer in the film industry who has previously done CIA contract work. In Tehran, the Iranian militants piece together information from recovered embassy documents to discover that six American workers are missing. Meanwhile, Tony obtains permission to move ahead with his operation, and, on January 19, 1980, he travels to Los Angeles to meet with John Chambers. At the Burbank Studios, Tony tells John about his plans to set up a fake company, Studio Six Productions, while pretending to produce a science fiction film. John says he will help, but tells Tony that they need an actual script and a producer with Hollywood credibility. Soon after, Lester Siegel, an older film producer who has passed his prime, agrees to take part. In Tehran, the Taylors' Iranian housekeeper, Sahar, becomes suspicious of the escapees, although she has been told that they are Canadian houseguests. When Tony finds a screenplay for a science fiction film set in the Middle East, titled Argo, he presents it to Lester, who quickly obtains film rights for $10,000. Lester confesses to Tony that he has two daughters whom he only sees once a year, and Tony commiserates, saying he has a son who lives with his estranged wife. Although Tony needs another week to make the film production a viable cover, Jack tells him that he must go to Iran immediately, as the escapees are in danger of being found. Concerned that Studio Six Productions only has an office, business cards, and a poster for Argo, Tony tells John and Lester that the production needs more legitimacy, so they place advertisements in the trade magazine, Variety, and arrange a script-reading at the Beverly Hilton Hotel with film journalists in attendance. While the script-reading takes place, an Iranian woman makes a televised announcement that the Iranian revolutionaries believe the American hostages are spies and claims they will be tried and sentenced. Meanwhile, hostages are threatened by firing squads. After receiving final approval for his mission, Tony flies to Istanbul, Turkey, on January 27, 1980, where he, disguised as Kevin Harkins, obtains an Iranian visa. In Washington, D. C., Pender informs Jack that the Iranian militants have learned that six Americans are hiding out with the Canadians, and there is little time before they are found. At the airport in Tehran, Tony steals extra customs forms for the escapees, and, after he is admitted into the country, goes to the Islamic Culture office to apply for a film permit. As he rides through the city, Tony sees corpses of people who were publicly hanged and truckloads of armed revolutionaries. On a side street, Tony meets Ambassador Taylor, who provides him with Canadian passports for the escapees. Tony later introduces himself as Kevin Harkins to the six Americans inside Taylor's home and provides them with screenplays for Argo, fake identities, and dossiers to memorize. The next day, Tony informs the group that they must conduct a fake location scout at the Grand Bazaar that afternoon. Joe refuses, insisting that he will not put himself and his wife in danger; however, he is later persuaded when Tony reveals his true identity and pleads for Joe's trust. The group disguise themselves with slight changes to hair color and modes of dress, but, on the way to the Grand Bazaar, they run into a marching mob that beats on their van and intimidates them. Reza Borhani, an aide from the Islamic Culture office, greets the "filmmakers" at the bazaar and guides them through the marketplace. Pretending to be the production designer, Kathy takes Polaroid photographs, causing one vendor to become irate. As the vendor shouts at Borhani and the foreigners, a mob begins to form and the Americans flee from the bazaar. At the Taylor home, a militant named Ali Khalkhali interrogates Sahar through the gate, demanding information about Taylor's houseguests. Frightened, Sahar says that the guests have only been there for two days and promises that they are friends of Iran, prompting Khalkhali to leave before the Americans return home. That night, Tony interrogates the escapees on their covert identities, convincing them that they will be shot at the airport the next day if they answer one question too slowly or with the wrong information. Tony gets a call from Jack alerting him that the White House has canceled his exfiltration plan because a military rescue of the hostages still held at the American embassy is in the works, and over concern that they could be humiliated by Tony's outlandish operation if it fails. After a sleepless night, Tony informs Jack that he plans to remove the escapees with or without approval. Since President Carter must okay the operation before airplane tickets can be purchased, Jack calls the White House, pretending to be a school official with emergency news about one of Carter's children. As Tony and the escapees arrive at the airport, there are no airline reservations under his name; however, the tickets are confirmed within moments and the group proceeds to a customs checkpoint. There, the customs officers cannot find documents to prove that Tony's fellow travelers entered the country two days ago as they claim. After they finally gain access to the airport terminal, Tony's group is sent into a room for interrogation when a guard checks their passports and becomes suspicious. The guard yells at the group in Farsi, and Joe, the only one who is fluent in the language, responds, explaining that they are Canadian filmmakers. Showing deference to the guard, Joe provides him with a copy of Argo's advertisement in Variety and various storyboards. After the guard warns that he must verify the production before they can leave, Tony provides him with a business card containing the telephone number to the Studio Six office in Los Angeles. The guard calls the number twice, and John rushes to answer, responding to the guard's request for Kevin Harkins by saying that Kevin is out of the country on a location scout. Satisfied, the guard allows the group to go, and they board an airplane bound for Switzerland. Upon receiving reassembled photographs of the six escapees, Khalkhali raids Taylor's home in search of the Americans and calls the airport when he realizes they have fled. One of Khalkhali's cohorts rushes to the airport to inform the guards, but, although Iranian police and airport guards try to chase down the airplane, the flight takes off with the Americans inside. Soon after, as the flight attendant announces that they have cleared Iranian air space, the group rejoices. At the CIA office, Jack celebrates the successful rescue, while Lester and John do the same in Los Angeles. Sahar flees to Iraq that day, and the Taylors evade the militants as well. In order to protect American hostages still in Iran, Canada publicly takes credit for the exfiltration. Tony learns that he will receive the Intelligence Star, the CIA's highest award, in secret, and, later, he visits the home of his estranged wife, Christine, who embraces him upon arrival.  

 
Genre: Drama
Sub-Genre: Suspense
 
Subject Major: Diplomatic and consular services of specific countries
  Escapes
  Hostages
  Search and rescue operations
  Tehran (Iran)
  Undercover operations
  United States. Central Intelligence Agency
 
Subject Minor: Airplanes
  Airports
  Ambassadors
  Bazaars
  Canada
  Consuls
  Disguise
  Fathers and sons
  Forgers and forgery
  Housekeepers
  Impersonation and imposture
  Iran
  Los Angeles (CA)
  Motion picture crews
  Motion picture producers
  Motion picture studios
  Motion pictures
  Passports
  Protest marches
  Revolutionary armies
  Revolutionaries
  Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran, 1919-1980
  Secret agents
  Separation (Marital)
  Switzerland
  United States--History
  United States. Presidents
  Washington (D.C.)

Note: The written statement, "Based on a true story," appears after the film's title in the opening credits.
       The final shots of the film show a collection of science-fiction action figures and a storyboard from Argo in the room of "Ian Mendez," "Tony Mendez's" son, with superimposed title cards containing the following statements: "The Iran Hostage Crisis ended on January 20, 1981, when all remaining hostages were released. They spent 444 days in captivity"; "The involvement of the C.I.A. complemented efforts of the Canadian embassy in freeing the six held in Tehran. To this day, this story stands as an enduring model for international cooperation between governments"; "All of the Houseguests returned to the U.S. Foreign Service after their ordeal in Iran"; "Oscar-winning makeup artist John Chambers was awarded the C.I.A.'s Intelligence Medal, its highest civilian honor. He and Mendez remained friends until Chambers' death in 2001"; "Tony Mendez's Intelligence Star was returned to him in 1997, when the Argo operation was declassified by President Clinton"; and, "He lives in rural Maryland with his family."
       As end credits begin, images of the actors portraying Argo's lead characters are set side-by-side with photographs of their real-life counterparts. The end credits include the following statement: "Some scenes and dialogue in this film have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes." The following dedications appear in the end credits: "In memory of Ian Mendez," and, "Mr. Affleck dedicates this film to Jennifer, Violet, Sera, and Sam." A "Special Thanks" section acknowledges the following organizations and individuals: The Carter Center; Huma Abedin; Whitney Williams; U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Douglas A. Smith, Assistant Secretary, Adrienne Wong, Business Liaison; Rafi Pitts; The Central Intelligence Agency; Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority; Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism Directorate of Cultural Assets and Museums and the Directorate of Ayasofya Museum; Grand Bazaar, Istanbul; and Faith Municipality. After the Special Thanks, two disclaimers appear: "The Central Intelligence Agency has not approved, endorsed, or authorized this production or the use of the CIA seal, name and initials," and, "The Seal of the Department of State was used with permission of the Department of State and such use does not constitute an endorsement of the production by the Department of State nor the United States Government."
       Archival footage and images in the film receive the following acknowledgements in end credits: "Footage from Battle for the Planet of the Apes provided by Twentieth Century Fox; Posters from The Planet of the Apes (1968) & Conquest of the Planet of the Apes provided by Twentieth Century Fox, all rights reserved; Battlestar Galactica and photo of Brandon Tartikoff courtesy of Universal Studios Licensing, LLC; Use of photo still from Love Boat – provided by CBS Television Studios; Ravagers courtesy of Columbia Pictures; Use of elements from Star Trek – provided by CBS Television Studios; Certain artwork in the style of Jack Kirby's artwork was created by Michael Maher and Leonard Morganti; © 1980 Time Inc., all rights reserved, image of Time magazine used with permission, no recordation or further transmission permitted without the express written permission of Time Inc.," and, "Archival footage provided by ABC News Videosource; AP Archive; Canamedia Productions/Les Harris; Jimmy Carter Library; CBS News; Corbis; F.I.L.M. Archives; NBC Universal Archives; Thought Equity Motion." End credits also contain the following written statement: "Still photographs provided by Abbas/Magnum Photos; Bettmann/Corbis/AP Images; Bettmann/Corbis; Getty Images; Thomas Hoepker/Magnum Photos; Los Angeles Public Library; Mazdak/Sipa; Wally McNamee/Corbis; Jahangir Razmi/Magnum Photos; Duane Rieder; Mohsen Shandiz; Christine Spengler/Sygma/Corbis; Ken Taylor; and Variety."
       A 3 May 2007 DV news item announced that Warner Bros. optioned Joshuah Bearman's article, "How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans from Tehran," published in the May 2007 issue of Wired magazine. Although DV stated that producers George Clooney and Grant Heslov would write the screen adaptation, they did not receive any writing credits in the final version of the film. As of 4 Feb 2011, Ben Affleck was in "early negotiations to direct," according to an HR news brief of the same date.
       For one week prior to principal photography, the six actors who played the U.S. Embassy escapees prepared for their roles by living in the home that later served as the Canadian ambassador's residence, as stated in production notes from AMPAS library files. The actors were sequestered and denied access to modern technology such as cellular phones and computers, and, for the entire week, they wore costumes that fit the period of the early 1980s. Affleck stated that the method paid off, and by the start of filming, the actors had taken on an air of familiarity with each other that translated onto the screen.
       According to a 29 Oct 2012 DV article, Argo's production budget was $45 million. A 17 Aug 2011 LAT article stated that the production received a $6.3 million tax credit from the California Film Commission, for filming the majority of its fifty-day shooting schedule in California. In addition to Los Angeles and Ontario, CA, principal photography took place in Washington, D.C., and Turkey, which stood in for Iran. As stated in a 10 Oct 2012 LAT article, the "Veterans Affairs medical building" in the North Hills area of Los Angeles served as the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran, while exterior sequences depicting the area around the Embassy were shot in Turkey. The LAT building in downtown Los Angeles provided the location for various office interiors, and a residence in Hancock Park doubled as the home of "Ken Taylor." The production office for "Studio Six Productions" was set up at Warner Bros. studios in Burbank, CA, although the real Studio Six Productions' temporary office space had been on the Sunset Gower Studios lot, according to articles in the 23 Oct 2012 LAT and 5 Oct 2012 HR. Burbank's Smokehouse Restaurant, after which Clooney and Heslov's production company was named, served as the location for a meeting between Tony Mendez and "John Chambers." The Beverly Hilton Hotel stood in for itself, and a home in Bel Air, CA, "once owned by Zsa Zsa Gabor," doubled as the residence of "Lester Siegel." The Ontario International Airport in Ontario, CA, was used in place of the Tehran Airport, and, in Turkey, Istanbul's Grand Bazaar, Blue Mosque, and the Hagia Sofia were used as filming sites.
       To add a sense of spontaneity for the scenes inside the ambassador's home, Affleck directed the actors to improvise while director of photography Rodrigo Prieto employed handheld camerawork to follow their actions, as stated in production notes. For a contrasting visual style in Washington, D.C., scenes were filmed with smooth dolly shots and more grounded camerawork. In Los Angeles, Affleck wanted to capture the style of the motion picture industry in the 1970s, so Prieto's photography contained a lot of zooms and greater color saturation. Also for period authenticity, costume designer Jacqueline West consulted with Tony Mendez, the real-life CIA agent upon whom Affleck's character was based, who informed her that he used to dress in "herringbone Harris Tweed jackets" at the office and, in order to disappear into a crowd, wore bland colors while on missions.
       A 4 Sep 2012 review in DV stated that the sequence portraying the Americans' narrow escape at the Tehran airport was fictionalized in order to raise tension, and that the real-life operation went much smoother. The review praised the change for "not only mak[ing] for a thrilling finale" but "correct[ing] the uncomfortably xenophobic way every Iranian is shown in the movie" prior to the sequence, by suggesting that some Iranians were smart enough to suss out Mendez's operation before the group actually left the country. Also fictionalized was composite character "Lester Siegel," who, according to the 5 Oct 2012 HR article, was partly based on Barry Ira Geller, a young producer who attempted to work with makeup artist John Chambers on a science fiction film based on Roger Zelazny's novel, Lord of Light (Garden City, 1967), but left the motion picture industry after being arrested for securities fraud.
       The film's world premiere took place at the Toronto Film Festival in early Sep 2012, while its European premiere took place at the San Sebastian Film Festival in late Sep 2012, as reported in a 27 Jul 2012 DV news item. In its first weekend of release, Argo took in $20.1 million in box-office receipts, as stated in a 15 Oct 2012 NYT brief. On 29 Oct 2012, DV reported that the film had grossed $67 million worldwide and was expected to earn more than $100 million in the U.S. and Canada.
       Critical reception was largely positive. The ensemble cast and Affleck's direction were consistently lauded, along with Prieto, West, and production designer Sharon Seymour for their outstanding re-capturing of the early 1980s era in the various locales of Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Tehran. The 4 Sep 2012 DV praised Chris Terrio's screenplay and the film's thrilling pace, but pointed to Affleck as "the one dubious casting choice in an all-around stellar ensemble," stating that the actor-director was too soft for the character of Tony Mendez.
       Argo was named one of AFI's Movies of the Year and was also named one of ten "Top Films" by the National Board of Review. The film was awarded Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture (Drama) and Best Director, in addition to Golden Globe nominations for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Alan Arkin); Best Screenplay – Motion Picture; and Best Original Score – Motion Picture. Chris Terrio won a Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA) award for Best Screenplay. As reported in a 2 Nov 2012 HR news item, Ben Affleck received a Career Achievement award from the Casting Society of America (CSA), while Argo casting director Lora Kennedy won CSA's "Hoyt Bowers Award." The film received the following Academy Award nominations: Best Picture; Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Alan Arkin); Best Film Editing; Best Music (Original Score); Best Sound Editing; Best Sound Mixing; and Best Screenplay (Adapted).
       According to a 15 Apr 2001 NYT article by Elaine Sciolino, titled "When a Little Production in Hollywood Freed Six Americans Trapped in Tehran," the fake production company set up by Mendez, Studio Six Productions, shuttered six weeks after the escapees were rescued; however, while in operation, Studio Six received twenty-six screenplay submissions, including one from Steven Spielberg. 

Note Credits: General (mod): Barry Ira Geller
  Geographic location: Los Angeles California United States
  Geographic location: Ontario California United States
  Geographic location: Washington District of Columbia United States
  Geographic location: Istanbul Turkey
  Geographic location: Burbank California United States

Source   Date   Page
Daily Variety   3 May 2007   p. 1, 13.
Daily Variety   13 Jun 2011.   
Daily Variety   27 Jul 2012.   
Daily Variety   4 Sep 2012   p. 16.
Daily Variety   29 Oct 2012   p. 3, 44.
Hollywood Reporter   4 Feb 2011.   
Hollywood Reporter   14 Sep 2012   p. 74.
Hollywood Reporter   5 Oct 2012   pp. 64-65.
Hollywood Reporter   2 Nov 2012   p. 90.
Los Angeles Times   17 Aug 2011   Section B, p. 3.
Los Angeles Times   4 Sep 2012   Section D, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times   10 Oct 2012   Section B, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times   12 Oct 2012   p. 1.
Los Angeles Times   23 Oct 2012   Section D, p. 1.
New York Times   12 Oct 2012   Section C, p. 1.
New York Times   15 Oct 2012   Section C, p. 3.
New York Times   15 Apr 2001.   
WSJ   5 Oct 2012   Section D, p. 4.
WSJ   12 Oct 2012   Section D, p. 3.

 
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